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PFM, Vol. 8 No. 2, (2008)

The welfare debate to date spans a period of over forty years. Welfare-state economists, horrified by market failures, have commonly thought it necessary to invoke governments’ intervention in welfare programs. In their eagerness to combat the market, they have managed to write as though governments do not fail. A charge that purely market-oriented economists lay at welfare-state economists door is that government is a very real danger and one that compounds market failures. The papers included in this symposium attempt to draw up an ordered account of the market-oriented position. From various angles, the six papers provide reflections on the role played by institutional settings in the decision of how and how much to redistribute within a generation and between generations.

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